Friday, 30 March 2018

Cute kittens arrive after a dramatic birth

On a freezing cold and wet night in February, heavily pregnant moggy Asha was brought into the care of Cats Protection’s Lichfield & Tamworth Branch.

She had been found by a member of the public near a motorway and after being checked over by the vet it was discovered that she was due to give birth very soon.

Cats Protection’s Lichfield & Tamworth Branch Asha cat
Asha was found as a heavily pregant stray
Poor Asha grew bigger day by day until on 26 February she went into labour. Exhausted from her time as a stray and the fact her kittens were overdue, Asha found the birth incredibly difficult.

The labour lasted six hours but eventually Asha had six beautiful kittens. Becoming a mother hasn’t been easy for poor Asha, but she is quickly learning that her litter will squeal loudly if she doesn’t feed them often enough.

Cats Protection’s Lichfield & Tamworth Branch Asha kitten
Asha's six kittens are all happy and healthy 
Although her kittens are incredibly cute, Asha’s traumatic ordeal could have easily been prevented if she had been neutered.

To learn more about the importance of neutering, visit the Cats Protection website, where you can also find out how Cats Protection can offer financial assistance with the operation.

Asha’s kittens will be available for adoption in the Lichfield & Tamworth area when they are old enough to leave their mum. To enquire about adopting them, get in touch with the branch on 0345 371 2741 or enquiries@lichfield.cats.org.uk 

To find cats and kittens available for adoption in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Keep your garden plants feline-friendly this spring

The Easter weekend is traditionally a time when keen gardeners roll up their sleeves and get set to make their garden look glorious. If you’ve got a cat roaming around, however, you’ll need to be mindful of what you’re planting. While cats are discerning eaters and usually instinctively avoid eating poisonous plants, it’s best to stay vigilant.

Lilies are one of the most dangerous plants for felines. Most commonly ingested from cats getting pollen on their fur and then licking it off, they are particularly toxic – from the stamen and pollen to the flower itself. Other outdoor plants to watch out for include sweet peas, snowdrops and poppies. Take a look at our visual guide on poisonous plants for tips on how to keep your cat safe.

http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/COM_3113_Floral_Outdoor_v2.pdf
 
How will I know if my cat has eaten something poisonous?

Some of the most common signs are:
- increased thirst
- confused/uncoordinated
- drooling
- difficulty breathing
- fitting/seizures
- vomiting

What should I do if I think my cat has eaten something poisonous?

If you’re worried that your cat has ingested something, take them to a vet immediately. Give your vet information about what you think your cat has consumed and make sure you keep all other pets away from the source. Don’t wait for symptoms or assume they will go away. Don’t try to make your cat vomit or feed them salt water.

For a list of dangerous plants and flowers, visit www.cats.org.uk/dangerous-plants

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Chocolatey cat-themed Easter crafts to try at home

Easter may be typically associated with bunnies and chicks, but that doesn’t mean cats can’t be included too! If you’re wondering what to get the cat-lover in your life for Easter this year, have a go at creating some of our egg-citing chocolate crafts decorated with fabulous felines.

Chocolate cat slab

Easter cat chocolate slab

Ingredients:
400g milk chocolate
200g white chocolate
Mini eggs
Micro eggs
White chocolate buttons
Milk chocolate chips
Strawberry laces
White writing icing

Instructions:
  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, then melt the milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Do the same with white chocolate separately.
  2. Pour the melted milk chocolate onto the greaseproof paper then immediately pour the melted white chocolate in a line down centre. Use a skewer to create swirls, lines or other decorations with the white chocolate.
     
    Easter cat chocolate slab
  3. Leave the chocolate to cool for a few minutes, then while it is still slightly melted add a mini egg nose, micro egg inner ears, white chocolate button eyes and strawberry lace whiskers. Decorate the bottom half with assorted mini eggs, chocolate chips and your (or the recipient’s) favourite sweets.
    Easter cat chocolate slab
  4. Place your chocolate slab in the fridge to set for around 30 minutes or overnight. You can then pipe on the cat’s outline and mouth in icing and use dots of icing to stick some milk chocolate chip pupils on the eyes.
  5. Once the icing has hardened you can carefully remove your slab from the tray, peel off the greaseproof paper and place it in a gift box to give to your cat-loving friend or family member.
 
Chocolate cat Easter egg

cat Easter egg
Ingredients:
Chocolate Easter egg
Mini eggs
Micro eggs
White chocolate buttons
Milk chocolate chips
Strawberry laces
White writing icing

Instructions:
  1. On the front of your chocolate Easter egg, use dots of writing icing to stick on a mini egg nose and inner ears, white chocolate button eyes and strawberry lace whiskers.
  2. Use more icing to pipe the outer ears and mouth and stick milk chocolate chip pupils on the eyes. Cut a mini egg in half and use some icing to attach it as a tongue.
  3. Stick some more mini eggs to the base of your Easter egg as toes and twist some strawberry laces together to create a tail.
To make your chocolate slab and Easter egg suitable for vegetarians, leave off the strawberry lace whiskers and pipe them on with icing instead.
 
If you have a go at some cat-themed crafts this Easter we would love to see them! Share your egg-cellent photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats – Marina & Marcia

Sponsoring a cat pen at one of our centres is a fantastic way to show your love for cats. Not only will you be helping to give these unwanted moggies the care they need, but you will also receive regular updates on the residents of your pen until they find their forever homes.

The sponsor pen at our Belfast Adoption Centre is currently home to mother and daughter duo Marina & Marcia, so you get two sponsor cats for the price of one!

Gorgeous 18-month-old Marina came into the centre with her adorable kitten Marcia after they were found living as strays. They both had a nasty cat flu infection when they first arrived, but are now fit, healthy and ready to find their forever home. They are very friendly and playful, and they love gentle strokes, as you can see in the video below!



If you would like to become a Cat Sponsor and help show cats like Marina & Marcia the love they deserve, you can sign up on the Cats Protection website now.

For as little as 19p a day you can help us to provide shelter, warmth, food, medical care and love for the cats in our care, and in return will receive regular updates about the cats staying in your pen. Sponsorship is a fantastic way to see exactly how your kind donations are helping the cats in our care and also makes a purrfect gift for cat lovers!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Ginger moggy’s coach ride takes him 100 miles from home

Cats Protection is hoping to track down the owners of a gorgeous ginger cat found on a coach in Newcastle.

The coach had travelled from Pickering in North Yorkshire, making a brief stop at Leeming Bar, but it is not known at which point the moggy got on board. If he got on at the beginning of its journey, then he would have travelled for 100 miles! 
Cats Protection’s Gildersome Homing Centre Wendall cat
Do you have any information about Wendall?

As the vehicle was undergoing maintenance, it was not being used by members of the public, so there was no one to witness the cat’s remarkable voyage.

After being found on the coach at Newcastle, the ginger puss was taken to Cats Protection’s Gildersome Homing Centre, where he was named Wendall – German for traveller.

The centre’s Deputy Manager, Catherine Hubbard, said: “We are appealing far and wide in the hope that Wendall’s original owners see this plea and come forward. If we haven’t heard from them by Thursday 29 March, we will be looking to rehome Wendall, so we really do urge anyone who recognises him to get in touch. As he was not microchipped, we have no way of tracing his owners.

“His fur was slightly matted when he came into care but he welcomed a brush with open paws. He has such a lovely temperament and is so sweet natured, which makes us think he must have a loving owner out there somewhere wondering where he is.”

If you have any information about Wendall, please contact Gildersome Homing Centre on 03000 121 505.

To find out more about the importance of microchipping, visit the Cats Protection website.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Weetabix the cat is desperately seeking a patient owner

Cats Protection’s Lancaster & Morecambe Branch is looking for someone to adopt gorgeous moggy Weetabix and help her overcome her toileting issues.

The sweet moggy came to the branch after being found as a stray and it was soon discovered she had problems with her back legs.

Cats Protection’s Lancaster & Morecambe Branch Weetabix cat
Can you give Weetabix a home?
With the help of plenty of exercise her legs are now getting stronger – she can now walk and jump around as normal – but she is still having issues with using her litter tray.
The vets hope that as her strength continues to improve, her toileting issues will stop. In the meantime, she really needs an understanding new owner who has the time and patience to help her overcome her problem.

Weetabix is very cuddly and playful and adores being fussed over, brushed and praised. Her current fosterer Eileen says: “Despite her legs not working to their full potential, she uses her upper body to climb wherever she desires. She is determined to get better and it seem that every week her back legs keep getting a tiny bit stronger. She also has the most gorgeous blue eyes and always makes eye contact with you when you speak to her.”

Cats Protection’s Lancaster & Morecambe Branch Weetabix cat
Weetabix loves cuddles and nose kisses
Ideally, Weetabix’s new owner would have an easy-to-clean room where she can go to the toilet and have the time to settle her into a toileting routine. The branch would also be willing to consider someone who can offer her an outhouse or barn to live in, but it would need to be safe, secure and warm.

Can you show Weetabix the love and affection she deserves? If you think you can offer her a home, please call Cats Protection’s Lancaster & Morecambe Branch on 01524 850 112. Leave a message with your name and number and they will call you back for a chat as soon as possible.

To find a new feline friend available for adoption in your area, please visit the Cats Protection website. You can also find helpful advice on cat toileting issues on our Help & Advice pages.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

8 tips to get your cat to drink more water

As with humans, water is a crucial part of a cat’s diet so it’s important that they have access to a fresh, clean supply at all times.

Although cats are able to survive on less water than dogs – their desert-dwelling ancestry means they can adapt well to dry conditions – they are still prone to dehydration and this can lead to common health issues such as constipation, lower urinary tract disease and urinary blockages.

Mature moggies (aged 11 or older) in particular will need to drink plenty of water each day as their kidneys will need a bit of extra help to function properly.

It’s important to remember that milk, cream or any other liquid is no substitute for water in a cat’s diet. In fact, cats are lactose intolerant and have difficulty digesting dairy products, so drinking milk could make them unwell.

If you’re worried that your cat is not drinking enough water, here are a few tips and tricks you can try...

1. Refill their water bowl daily
The thought of drinking from a glass of water that’s been sitting around on the floor for a few days probably doesn’t sound very appetising. Your cat is likely to feel the same, so they will appreciate a fresh, clean bowl each day.

2. Place bowls throughout the house
Cats prefer drinking in different locations. Give them plenty of options to choose from so that a bowl of water is never too far away.

3. Try a different water bowl
Cats may also have a preference for a certain type of bowl. Plastic and metal bowls can taint the water, so try using a ceramic or glass bowl instead. Cats usually prefer wide, shallow bowls as it allows them to keep an eye on their surroundings while they’re drinking and keeps their whiskers from touching the sides of the bowl. Allow the cat to be able to sit behind the bowl of water so they can see all around them.
 
4. Try a water fountain
Many cats are attracted by the movement and freshness of flowing water, which is why you may have witnessed them try to drink directly from the tap! There are many pet water fountains you can buy online or from your nearest pet store.


5. Keep water and litter trays separate
Just as you would not want to drink right next to your toilet, cats aren’t keen on drinking near their litter tray. This is carried over from their African wild cat ancestors, who would toilet away from their water source to avoid contamination. Keep the two in separate rooms if possible.
 
6. Separate the food bowl too
Cats also don’t like to drink near to where they eat. This is also carried over from their African wild cat ancestors, as the gut contents of their prey could contaminate the water source. Place their food and water bowls in separate locations.

7. Switch to canned food
Canned food contains about 70-80% water so will help your cat get a good proportion of their daily water requirement just from eating. If they’re eating mainly dry cat biscuits, they will need to drink a lot more water. If you do switch your cat’s food, make sure you do it gradually as this will reduce the chance of loose stools.

8. Add some flavour
Adding a few drops of tuna juice (from tuna packed in water, not oil) or chicken broth will make the water more enticing for your feline friend. Just make sure the flavouring doesn’t include too much salt, as this is unhealthy for your cat.

If you are concerned about any change to your cat's behaviour, including changes to their normal eating and drinking habits, please consult your vet.

For more advice on cats and drinking, visit the Cats Protection website.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Kitten watch: Daisy’s kittens are two weeks old

Follow the progress of Daisy and her kittens over the next few months with our kitten watch series.

Daisy who gave birth to four gorgeous kittens at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre is proving to be the purrfect mum.

She is taking excellent care of her litter and quickly responds to each kitten’s calls with soft meows and reassuring chirrups as she tends to their every need.

Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre Daisy and kitten
Daisy loves cuddling her kittens
In return the volunteers and staff at the centre have made sure Daisy is receiving excellent care herself, and this week took her for a check-up at the vet. There she had vaccinations to protect her against cat flu herpes and calici virus (FHV, FCV), feline parvo virus (FPV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), all common but sometimes fatal feline diseases. To find out about the importance of getting your cat vaccinated, visit the Cats Protection website.

Meanwhile, the kittens; Dewi, Emma, Eira and Daffodil, have more than doubled in size since birth and are gaining around 10 grams a day. Their fur is also growing longer and their ears are almost fully upright, so they are starting to respond to sounds.

Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre kitten
The kittens' fur and whiskers are growing fast

The kittens’ eyes, while still blue (they won’t change colour until they are around six weeks old), are now completely open but their vision will be a little blurred as it is still developing. They incisor teeth are also starting to come through, and their sense of smell is getting stronger as they will hiss at any smells they find strange.

The kittens are still feeding from their mum (they will begin weaning at three to four weeks old) but are more mobile and starting to crawl away from Daisy to explore their surroundings and interact with their siblings.



Over the next few weeks and months, we will keep you updated on Daisy’s and her kittens' progress, but if you would like to help towards the cost of her care at the Bridgend Adoption Centre then you can sign up to become a Cats Protection sponsor. Daisy is one of our many sponsor cats, so from as little as 19p a day you can sign up to help us provide her with the shelter, food, medical care and love she needs and receive regular updates about her and the other cats you are helping in return.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-off contribution to Daisy's care, you can donate via Bridgend Adoption Centre's Just Giving page.

Although the arrival of kittens is exciting, giving birth can be incredibly stressful for a cat and the kittens would need to find new homes, so we recommend getting them neutered from four months old. There are already thousands of cats waiting to find loving homes across the UK, so neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats coming into our care. To find out more about the importance of neutering, visit the Cats Protection website.


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats - Pippa

Our Cat Sponsors are true heroes who help us to care for the poor unwanted kitties at Cats Protection centres across the UK.

Beautiful monochrome moggy Pippa is a former sponsor cat who was staying at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex.

Although this two-year-old moggy is a cat flu carrier, she is still friendly and playful. She loves climbing, jumping and chasing her favourite toys and is also partial to a head rub. You can see Pippa having lots of fun in the video below:



We’re delighted to say that Pippa has now found her forever home and her pen is now occupied by another black-and-white kitty called Benji.

If you would like to become a Cat Sponsor and help show cats like Pippa and Benji the love they deserve, you can sign up on the Cats Protection website now.

For as little as 19p a day you can help us to provide shelter, warmth, food, medical care and love for the cats in our care, and in return will receive regular updates about the cats staying in your pen. Sponsorship is a fantastic way to see exactly how your kind donations are helping the cats in our care and also makes a purrfect gift for cat lovers!

Monday, 19 March 2018

Cat lover beats the odds to run 66th marathon for unwanted moggies

An inspirational cat lover from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, is gearing up to run her 66th marathon for Cats Protection, despite suffering from a serious health condition.

45-year-old Emma Challis has been a volunteer cat fosterer for Cats Protection’s Glastonbury & Wells Branch since 2010 and has represented the charity at every marathon she has run so far.


Emma began running long distance in 2013 as a way to help her strengthen her muscles after recovering from two serious accidents; she damaged her spine in a car accident in 1997 and then fractured her pelvis after falling down the stairs in 2007.

Then, in 2016, Emma was diagnosed with a long-standing blood clotting condition which had caused her pain for many years. At a hospital visit a few days after completing the Taunton Marathon she was told that she had ‘multiple prominent clots’ in her lungs.

“I’d been suffering from the condition for around 15 years but it had never been diagnosed,” Emma explained. “Now, with treatment, I’ve been able to reduce my marathon running time to under four hours!”

Emma’s doctor has recommended running as a good way to prevent her blood clots, and so after recently completing the New Forest Challenge Marathon she is now preparing for her next few events; the Taunton Marathon on 8 April and the Brighton Marathon on 15 April – her 66th marathon.

Last year, the amount she raised in sponsorship from her runs, plus adoption fees for cats she rehomed, totalled an incredible £1,100.

Emma, previously a vet nurse and now a mobile beautician, also has two rescue cats of her own, a tabby-and-white female called Diddy Kitty and a black female called Isis.

She added: “I absolutely adore cats, they’re just beautiful creatures. I love helping animals in need and it’s amazing to see how a little TLC goes a long way.”

To support Emma’s fundraising efforts, visit: www.justgiving.com/Emma-Jane4

If you’re interested in taking part in an event for Cats Protection, visit: www.cats.org.uk/running email events@cats.org.uk or call 01825 741 960.

To find volunteering opportunities in your area, visit: www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/find-an-opportunity


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

10 facts about cats and sleep

Cats are the masters of sleep – falling asleep anywhere, anytime and often in the strangest positions. As part of National Sleep Awareness Week, we asked owners to send some snapshots in of their kipping kitties.

Here’s our top ten sleeping beauties, as well as some facts you might not know about cats and sleep.

1. They sleep a lot

Domestic cats sleep for 12-18 hours a day - zzzzz.......

Willow
2. A cat’s need to sleep is a result of evolution

In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to eat and the stalking and chasing of prey burns a lot of energy.

Bert
3. Cats are crepuscular

This means they are more awake and active at dawn and dusk, favouring sleep during midday and in the dark of night, which explains the early wake-up calls!

Darcy
4. Most cats rotate their preferred sleeping area

This is why you might find them lazing around all over the house, sleeping on fresh laundry, snoozing next to radiators…

Dexter
5. Cats are on alert, even when they’re sleeping

It’s in their nature to act quickly at a moment’s notice, so you’ll notice how quickly they can spring into action – even if they’re having a cat nap.

Everlast
6. You shouldn’t disturb your cat when it’s sleeping

While it might be tempting to stroke a snoozy cat on your lap, they might become disorientated and react defensively with their claws.

Jynx
7. Cats do dream

Cats in deep sleep are usually curled up with their eyes tightly closed. If you spot their whiskers or paws twitching while their asleep, there’s a good chance your cat is dreaming.

Basil
8. Age makes a difference

Kittens are more active than adult cats, and sleep more. Senior cats (those in their mid to late teens) sleep more hours each day than they might have done as a younger adult cat.

Pudding
9. Cats even snore

When cats are in a relaxed sleep, the soft palate relaxes, causing them to make those cute little snore-like sounds.

Sybbie
10. The weather affects sleeping habits

Don’t be surprised if your feline friend seems sleepier on rainy or dark days. Whether you’ve got an outdoor or indoor cat, you might notice a difference in their sleeping habits.

Tigger
Thank you to everyone that shared snapshots of their sleeping cats. If you’d like to share yours, head to our Facebook page.

To find more about cats and sleep, go to www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-sleep

Kitten watch: Daisy’s kittens have been given names

Follow the progress of Daisy and her kittens over the next few months with our kitten watch series.

The four tiny new arrivals at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre are now one week old and all doing well thanks to the devotion of their mum, Daisy.

Daisy seems to be enjoying motherhood and his been providing her kittens with plenty of attention and ‘cwtches’ (Welsh for ‘cuddles’), as you can see in the photo below.

Cats Protection Bridgend Daisy & kitten
Proud mum Daisy cuddling one of her kittens
Shortly after the kittens arrived, the Bridgend Adoption Centre asked for name suggestions on their Facebook page, and have now chosen the winning names. There’s one male kitten and three females, and their names are inspired by their date of birth, 1 March.
  • Dewi – Welsh for David, as it was St David’s Day
  • Emma – as the UK was being battered by Storm Emma
  • Eira – Welsh for snow, as the centre was covered in a blanket of snow
  • Daffodil – as it was the first day of spring
Cats Protection Bridgend kittens
Left to right: Dewi, Emma, Eira and Daffodil
Each kitten has had a check-up from the vets and been declared fit and healthy, and they are already starting to crawl around on their own. Their eyes began to open when they were four days old (quite early for kittens!) and their ears are beginning to stand upright. Interestingly, all kittens are born with blue eyes which change colour when they are around six weeks old.

Cats Protection Bridgend kittens
The kittens have had a complete health check
The kittens are feeding on their mother’s milk every two to three hours, and to ensure she passes on plenty of nutrients, Daisy herself is being fed regularly with nutrient-rich kitten food.
 
Over the next few weeks and months, we will keep you updated on Daisy’s and her kittens' progress, but if you would like to help towards the cost of her care at the Bridgend Adoption Centre then you can sign up to become a Cats Protection sponsor. Daisy is one of our many sponsor cats, so from as little as 19p a day you can sign up to help us provide her with the shelter, food, medical care and love she needs and receive regular updates about her and the other cats you are helping in return.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-off contribution to Daisy's care, you can donate via Bridgend Adoption Centre's Just Giving page.

Although the arrival of kittens is exciting, giving birth can be incredibly stressful for a cat and the kittens would need to find new homes, so we recommend getting them neutered from four months old. There are already thousands of cats waiting to find loving homes across the UK, so neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats coming into our care. To find out more about the importance of neutering, visit the Cats Protection website.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats – Theodore

At Cats Protection, we have thousands of cats in our care at any one time, each needing to be fed, health-checked and given plenty of TLC. Many of these cats stay in sponsor pens at our adoption centres across the UK and receive the care they need thanks to our kind Cat Sponsors.

Theodore is the resident of a sponsor pen at our Warrington Adoption Centre. This 14-year-old mature moggy was brought into our care when his owner sadly passed away. He arrived with a bad injury to his tail, which unfortunately had to be amputated, and has stiff joints, but this hasn’t stopped him from living life to the full. He has a great temperament and although he can be shy when he meets new people, he is a friendly cat when he gets to know you. You can see Theodore in action in our video below:



If you would like to become a Cat Sponsor, you can sign up on the Cats Protection website.

For as little as 19p a day you can help us to provide shelter, warmth, food, medical care and love for the cats in our care, and in return will receive regular updates about the cats staying in your pen. Sponsorship is a fantastic way to see exactly how your kind donations are helping the cats in our care and also makes a purrfect gift for cat lovers!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Rogue spirits and ruined toys: strange reasons people have given up their cat

Cats Protection takes in thousands of pet cats that are given up by their owners each year.

Usually the reason given is something like moving into a rented property with a ‘no pets’ policy or behaviour issues the owner can no longer cope with, but recently the charity has seen a worrying spike in more unusual reasons.

Bizarre reasons for people wanting to give up their cat include:
  • spirits telling a cat to knock ornaments off shelves
  • the cat causing damage to a model train set
  • frustration that kittens acquired online and believed to be female were in fact male
  • the cat cannot be ‘unspayed’
Cats Protection cat
Thousands of unwanted cats are cared for by Cats Protection each year
As a result of this worrying trend, the charity is urging owners to think carefully before adopting a new feline friend.

“Although these reasons for giving up a cat may seem light-hearted on the surface, they highlight how important it is to research the impact of bringing a cat into a household and how a cat may impact the home environment,” says Cats Protection’s London Region Centre Manager, Michelle Igoe.

“Cats are engaging, fun and loving but care must be taken to ensure their needs are met and they can express their natural behaviours. At Cats Protection we look forward to taking the time to get to know prospective owners to ensure they fit the cat and the cat fits them.”

To find information about things to consider when choosing a cat, visit the Cats Protection website.

Anyone wishing to adopt a cat should visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to find cats in their area.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Feline-friendly flowers and plants for Mother's Day

If you haven’t already marked the date in your diary, Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. Before you head off to the florist for a bunch of beautiful blooms, did you know that some plants and flowers are toxic to cats?

Lilies are particularly dangerous and aren’t advised for a household where a cat resides – from the stamen and pollen to the flower and bulb and even the water in the vase, they can be extremely toxic to cats. Other commonly used flowers like poppies, peonies and cornflower are also harmful when eaten.

To find out more about feline-friendly flowers, take a look at our visual guides below.

Click to expand

Click to expand
How do I know if my cat has eaten something poisonous?

While the symptoms of poisoning aren’t always obvious, here are a few of the most common signs:
- increased thirst
- confused/uncoordinated
- drooling
- difficulty breathing
- fitting/seizures
- vomiting

What should I do if I think my cat’s eaten a poisonous flower or plant?

If you’re concerned that your cat has ingested something, take them to a vet immediately. Give your vet information about what you think your cat has consumed and make sure you keep all other pets away from the source. Don’t wait for symptoms or assume they will go away and don’t try to make your cat vomit or feed them salt water.

For a full list of dangerous plants and flowers, head to www.cats.org.uk/dangerous-plants

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats - Garfield

Every day, hundreds of unwanted cats are signed over into Cats Protection’s care for varying reasons. In our latest series, we’ll be meeting some of the cats that have stayed in sponsor pens across some of Cats Protection’s adoption centres. First up is gorgeous ginger cat Garfield.

Garfield is five years old and was a stray cat before being handed over to our Bridgend Adoption Centre. He had surgery on his eyelids but is now feeling healthy and happy. He enjoys feeding enrichment toys and the occasional snuggle! He’s also a particularly active cat, as you can see from the video below.



We’re delighted to announce that Garfield has now found his forever home. His pen is now occupied by Bridgend’s new sponsor cat Daisy, who is the star of our kitten watch blog series. You can read more about her and her adorable newborn kittens here

You can sponsor a cat pen from just 19p a day, providing cats like Garfield and Daisy with shelter, warmth, food, medical care and the love they need. It’s easy to become a sponsor right now. To find out more, click here

Monday, 5 March 2018

Top travel destinations for cat-lovers this Easter

There’s no doubt that last week’s snow onslaught had us all dreaming of sunnier climes – who wouldn’t want to trade in their office chair for a sun lounger? If you can’t escape your passion for pussycats, even when you go on holiday, why not consider one of these great getaways this Easter? We’ve put together our top travel destinations for cat-lovers.

Rome, Italy


While the Eternal City’s ancient ruins might be a draw for some, it’s hard to make a visit without noticing the stray cats that have made it their home. You’ll spot these marvellous moggies in some of the top tourist spots, happily bathing in the sunshine. They’re well cared for too – local organisation The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary has volunteers feed them every day and take in injured cats for treatment.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Aside from its offerings of coffee shops and canals, Amsterdam also boasts some fascinating cultural spots. Among them is the Katten Kabinet, a wonderful canal-side museum that is home to one of the most fascinating collections of cat paintings and artwork. Showcasing pieces from Rembrandt, Picasso and many others, it’s the purrfect place to visit if you’re a cat fan.

Cairo, Egypt


It’s well known that the Ancient Egyptians used to worship cats – and who can blame them? While Cairo is home to some of the most enticing tourist sites in the country, the historic legacy of the humble moggy can be viewed in most places – from delicate tomb paintings to museums where ancient cat statues are housed.

St Petersburg, Russia


There’s an array of historical attractions to discover in St Petersburg, making it well worth a trip. For those fond of felines however, The Hermitage Museum is a must-visit. Initially hired to keep rats and mice in check way back in 1745, there are now over 70 stray cats roaming the grand building. They are well looked after by a team of three volunteers, who tend to their every need. 

Cat Island, Tashirojima, Japan


If you’re a cat fan heading off on holiday, where better to visit than somewhere called Cat Island? There’s a holy cat shrine, cat-shaped monuments and even buildings adorned with pointy ears and whiskers, making for perfect photo opportunities. There are just 70-odd human residents living on the island, meaning the feline population outweighs that of people.

Keeping your cat content


If you’re looking to get away this Easter and have cats that need to be looked after, don’t forget we’ve partnered with TrustedHousesitters, the world’s largest and most trusted house and pet sitting network. It connects pet owners with verified sitters who care for homes and pets for free in exchange for accommodation.

Since its launch in 2010, it has helped facilitate millions of nights of pet sitting across the globe, keeping pets happy at home while delivering peace of mind while you travel.

TrustedHousesitters are offering an exclusive 25% off membership for the whole of March, with Cats Protection to receive a donation with every sign up. Simply sign up here and use the code SPRINGCAT25.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Kitten watch: Daisy has given birth to four adorable kittens

Follow the progress of Daisy and her kittens over the next few months with our kitten watch series.

Daisy the cat who arrived at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre heavily pregnant has now given birth to four kittens.

Cats Protection Bridgend Daisy and kitten

The three-year-old moggy went into labour at 8am on 1 March, while the centre was covered in a blanket of snow and surrounded by howling winds as a result of Storm Emma.

The Bridgend team battled through the bad weather to make it into the centre just before the first kitten arrived and thankfully had no need to rush Daisy to the vets in the treacherous conditions.

They made sure she was not disturbed throughout her labour, and as they watched from afar could see that Daisy had everything under control.


The first three kittens arrived one after the other, with each birth lasting 30 minutes. The fourth and final kitten arrived a couple of hours later, but all are happy and healthy.

Kittens are born with their eyes shut and ear canals closed, so they are heavily reliant on their mother. Luckily, Daisy is a relaxed but attentive mum and has been licking her kittens to make sure they are clean and stimulate them to go to the toilet. She has also been helping to keep them warm. As newborn kittens can’t regulate their own body temperature it is important for them to huddle up to their mum and litter mates to share body heat.

Fortunately the Bridgend centre’s pens have underfloor heating to help make things nice and cosy, but there was a bit of a scare when the power went off on the morning of 2 March. Thankfully a call to the local power distribution board helped rectify the situation and the power was soon back on again.

Cats Protection Bridgend kitten

Straight after birth, the kittens began contentedly suckling on their mothers teats. Their first feed is particularly important as this is when queens produce colostrum, a type of milk rich in antibodies that will help protect the kittens from diseases. These antibodies last for six weeks or more but kittens can only absorb them during their first 16 to 24 hours of life and they should feed within two hours of birth. After their initial feed, the kittens now need to be fed every two to three hours, so Daisy has a lot of work to do!

Over the next few weeks and months, we will keep you updated on Daisy’s and her kittens' progress, but if you would like to help towards the cost of her care at the Bridgend Adoption Centre then you can sign up to become a Cats Protection sponsor. Daisy is one of our many sponsor cats, so from as little as 19p a day you can sign up to help us provide her with the shelter, food, medical care and love she needs and receive regular updates about her and the other cats you are helping in return.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-off contribution to Daisy's care, you can donate via Bridgend Adoption Centre's Just Giving page.

Although the arrival of kittens is exciting, giving birth can be incredibly stressful for a cat and the kittens would need to find new homes, so we recommend getting them neutered from four months old. There are already thousands of cats waiting to find loving homes across the UK, so neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats coming into our care. To find out more about the importance of neutering, visit the Cats Protection website.

Friday, 2 March 2018

The cat Oscars: Awards for movie star moggies

Hollywood’s finest will take to the red carpet this Sunday (4 March) for the 90th Academy Awards, but while there will be many Oscars given to the human stars of the silver screen, their moggy co-stars have once again been overlooked in the nominations.

To put this right, we’ve created our own award categories for some of the best feline performances in movie history. Let us know if you think the winners are deserving of their Oscar nods and tell us if you think we’ve forgotten a particularly pawsome cat character.

Best on-screen transformation: McGonagall from Harry Potter
There are a few moggy stars in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, but McGonagall’s feline form is a definite fan favourite. The Hogwarts professor is an Animagus, meaning she can transform herself into a silver tabby at will, helping her to stalk the school corridors in secret and keep a watchful eye on her students.

via GIPHY

Best dance moves: Garfield
Having starred in comic strips since 1978, portly puss Garfield made his big screen debut in 2004. His adventures in New York with Odie the dog not only gave him the chance to show off his dance moves but also spawned a sequel set in the UK.

via GIPHY

Best villain’s sidekick: Blofeld’s cat
For his first two appearances on screen, James Bond’s nemesis Ernst Stravo Blofeld could only be identified by the white Chinchilla cat (a breed from the Persian family) on his lap. The sinister bad guy’s face is not shown until You Only Live Twice, so until then the limelight was given to his trusty moggy who soon became a trademark for movie supervillains, inspiring Dr Evil’s Mr Bigglesworth in Austin Powers.

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Best action hero: Jones from Alien
Ripley’s pet ginger tom kept her and her crew company on the USCSS Nostromo, and even tried to warn crewmember Brett when the terrifying title character was behind him. He and Ripley were the only survivors of the alien invasion, making him a true hero and worthy of a role in the sequel too.

via GIPHY

Cutest actor in a leading role: Puss in Boots
Swashbuckling moggy Puss in Boots was originally in the supporting cast of Shrek 2, but eventually got to see his name up in lights with his own spin-off movie. As well as his superb sword-fighting skills, the smooth-talking kitty also uses his adorable big eyes to get his way and save the day with his friends.

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Best smile: Cheshire Cat
The feline star of Lewis Carroll’s weird and wonderful Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has appeared in two Disney adaptations of the story. His trademark grin and mischievous ways sometimes help Alice but can also get her into trouble on her adventures.

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Best alarm clock: Cat from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Orangey the tabby cat was an animal actor who starred in a number of different movies in the 50s and 60s, and even won two PATSY (Picture Animal Top Star of the Year) Awards. However, his most iconic role is certainly as Holly Golightly’s Cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s which saw him strike up a close bond with Audrey Hepburn. The actress said that throwing her moggy co-star out into the rain for a scene was the most distasteful act she ever had to carry out for a role.

via GIPHY

Best musical performance: The Aristocats
Everybody wants to be a cat when they see the stars of Disney’s animation in full swing. Before they meet the jazz-playing alley cats, Duchess and her kittens give a wonderful piano performance as they practice their scales and arpeggios – quite a challenge with only paws at their disposal!
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Best cat in a recurring role: Déjà vu cat from The Matrix
Although only on screen for a few seconds, the monochrome moggy in The Matrix performs a very important role. When Neo sees the cat walk past a doorway twice in the same direction, he learns that his moment of déjà vu signifies a glitch in the Matrix, warning him and his crew that trouble is ahead.
via GIPHY

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Pretty as a picture - your top cat snapshots

While this week’s weather might not feel very springlike, you’ve been brightening up our social media feeds with your blooming meow-vellous cat pics. We sent out a colourful flower frame to Cats Protection sponsors, asking them to share photos of their cat on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #myprettycat

As always, you responded with some great snapshots of your cats. Here’s our pick of the best of the bunch….

Lily
Marmaduke
Millie
Milo
Miss Marie
Shadow
Tilly
Boris
Evie
Miss Lily

Momo
 
Sign up to sponsor a cat and you’ll receive a fantastic sponsorship pack as well as regular newsletters including news stories, competitions and activities just like these flower frames, as well as photos of the cat in your pen. You’ll also have access to your sponsor area on our website, where you can see more information about the cats you’re helping.

If you’d like to make a different to a cat’s life and become a sponsor, sign up at www.cats.org.uk/cpsmyprettycat